US President Donald Trump lifted a ban on federal funding for faith-based Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at a conference in Washington DC on Tuesday.

Speaking to leaders from HBCUs, Trump praised the new Department of Justice opinion declaring the restrictions "discriminatory" and "unconstitutional", opening the path for more than 40 institutions to finally access federal funding.

During his speech, the US president also made a pitch to black voters ahead of the 2020 election.

"The African-American poverty rate also reached a new record low in the history of our country" he told the audience.

"These are pretty good numbers to know who's going to beat these numbers?"

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